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However, the article I mentioned is one of the few that actually discusses how desperate some people are getting to make ends meet. To quote Mr. Snyder,
"As the economy continues to crumble, large numbers of Americans are becoming really desperate. For example, a recent Mother Jones article detailed how large numbers of formerly middle class Americans are now actually growing marijuana in an effort to make ends meet.
As things continue to get worse, people will become even more desperate. There are millions of people out there that find themselves unable to pay the mortgage and put food on the table for their families. When people hit rock bottom, they often find themselves doing things that they never dreamed that they would do."
I work in retail, and I know I have a few customers that are dealing drugs on the side, even though they have jobs. One is a mother who says she couldn't make ends meet without her "second job". Whatever the justification, more people are turning to creative ways to make ends meet, because they have to. One of my customers is a mechanic, but takes a second job every now and then to pay off his credit cards. Another customer of mine takes in babysitting jobs to help make the rent during the lean months. This happens all across Canada and the U.S. This has become our new normal. Gone is the career in government, or the mill, or the factory job one had for life. Gone are the days when someone you knew could get you a job, and if you minded your P's and Q's and worked hard, you were set for life. I have worked in retail for a number of years, and despite the fact that I have a good boss and I like my co-workers, our job is soul-stealing more often than not. I know I'm one of the lucky ones though.
I still maintain that both Canada and the U.S are barreling down a slippery slope. I don't see the world ending in 2012, I'm too much of an optimist for that. (I have plans to live to be a hundred). I can see the world economy drowning. I don't watch the news and I know enough to see it happening already. The U.S may never recover, and where the United States goes, Canada trails along after like a dog after a bone. I wish I could say that I see Canada growing a spine as a nation and standing up for themselves, finding their own way for a change. But I don't. My own country will probably do what we always have and follow the States into economic ruin.
Our salvation as people, I think, will only come if and when, we re-think our own priorities. When each person re-evaluates what is important to us; wealth, comfort, health, status or a shiny car. When each of us can take those priorities and assess honestly how those fit into our current lives. Someone asked me over a decade ago, "Where do you see yourself in five years?" When I answered her, she responded, "Now what do you need to do and have to get there?"
I think that's the question we need to ask ourselves today, but we need to take an honest look at our surroundings and also ask if where we want to be in five years will be feasible within the world. I would like to be in my own home in five years, but in today's economy, I doubt that will happen.
I know my own priorities have shifted in the past couple of years. In my next post, I'll expand more on that, but for now, suffice it to say that I want to be less dependent on others.
So I challenge you today to envision yourself five years in the future. Where do you want to be, in your life circumstances, not necessarily geographically. Share your thoughts with us, tell us what you want to be doing in five years.
In my next post, perhaps even later tonight, I'll share my vision with you!